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PHY1022 : Vibrations, Waves and AC Theory

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sirio Orozco Fuentes
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To present the dynamics of simple and damped harmonic oscillators and to give examples of systems exhibiting this behaviour. To present the impact of a driving force on this motion and the phenomenon and description of resonance.

To present techniques needed for analysis DC and AC circuits. To impart an appreciation of the analogy between AC circuits analysis and mechanical oscillations.

To present an introduction to the subject of coupled oscillations, with an introduction to normal mode analysis.

To present an introduction to wave propagation and an introduction to the wave equation. To introduce phase and group velocities and the Doppler effect.

To present a study of the transmission and reflection of waves at interfaces.

Outline Of Syllabus

Harmonic motion: dynamics and mechanical origin.
Damping, quantification of damping.
Forced harmonic motion. Resonance
Superposition of SHM: beats.
Elementary analysis of DC and AC electrical circuits. Analog of mechanical system.
Coupled oscillations and normal modes. Physical concept of superposing normal modes and Fourier series.

Wave motion and the wave equation in one dimension. D’Alembert’s solution of the wave equation.
Waves on strings, sound waves and electromagnetic waves.
Group and phase velocity.
Reflection and transmission at interfaces.
The Doppler effect

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion122:3030:00Problem Solving Exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00In class tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Formal lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery121:0012:00Office hours to support the course content and preparation of in-course assessed problems
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:3020:30Reviewing lecture notes; background reading; tutorial sheets
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading, problem solving practice is provided through tutorials and continually assessed exercises.
Office hours provide opportunities for additional review of course content and support for problem solving on an individual basis.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A90N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M10Weekly problem solving exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The problem solving aspects of the assessment enable students to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis and synthesis skills to novel situations. Problems are set and assessed during the module to enhance the understanding of the material and nurture the progressive acquisition of skills in solving illustrative problems.

Reading Lists